Gloria leaned back in her chair, tapping her fingernails against her armrest and studying McCall thoughtfully.
“That’s an expensive plan,” she said finally.
“Only for me.”
“Yes but that makes me curious. Most people aren’t quite so willing to throw good money after bad.”
“I don’t think it is bad,” said McCall.
“Grant has made fairly certain it will be.”
“I think the movie can be salvaged.”
“You do?” Gloria raised an eyebrow. “Then let me ask you this: why go through me? Why not take it directly to Henry?”
McCall shook his head. “Henry will never go for it. He’s convinced himself that the film not being finished is the best thing for Peter Glades.”
“What a lot of personal drama behind that,” said Gloria absently. “What a nuisance.” Her fingers started tapping more quickly. “And it would be a bit of a risk.”
“Again: only for me. You’ll be in and out of the deal extremely quickly.”
“I’ll still have to use influence to sway enough of the board. And influence is always in short commodity. It must be used sparingly. Picking my battles is how I got as far as I have.”
“But you’ve been dying to find a stand to take against Malcolm since the merger went through.”
She smiled at him. “I won’t deny that.”
“And you’ve already been using Holly against him-”
Gloria raised her hand. “Not exactly. I’ve only been…asking questions. I think it’s very curious everything that’s been going on between those two. Quite a battle over…what exactly? Her leaking Cold Wars? Why would she do that? And yet Frank spoke to her and she claimed it was Grant who leaked the film. An extraordinary claim and rather a foolish one. Which begs the question, if it’s true….why would he do that?”
McCall shrugged. “I’m not in his confidence.”
“No. I doubt anyone is. And yet you two did use to get along much better then you seem to now. I thought for sure you’d be his ally on the board and yet it seems you’re not. Not only that but you’re here now talking to me about plotting against him. Which makes me think you know more than you’re telling.”
He considered his response carefully. McCall didn’t trust her with the whole truth and yet he sensed an out and out denial would only alienate her.
“Whether I do or not, I’ve told all that I am going to tell,” he said at last.
“Hmm.” She seemed less than pleased with the answer but didn’t send him away. “I suppose it’s an idea. You really believe it could hurt his position though?”
“He’s staked a lot in ruining Holly. If we can make her a success his position will be shaky.”
“That’s true. I’m just skeptical whether or not you can actually do that with Antigone.”
“If I can’t, you lose very little.”
“In a matter like this everything counts and every fight is important.”
“And if you wait for a better opportunity to go after Grant he’ll have time to secure his position. This is a way to try and take him down a little without having to go all in.”
Gloria laughed. “You really are going to the mat for this girl aren’t you? You must have quite a thing for her.”
“She’s young enough to be my granddaughter,” he said, struggling to control his temper.
“Many men think that’s the ideal age.”
McCall decided it was best to ignore this last comment. Right now, he needed Gloria. Instead he turned the conversation back to the question at hand. “Well? What’s your decision?”
There was a long minute of silence, the only sound that of Gloria’s tapping fingers. Victor tried to read her expression but couldn’t. Her face was a neutral mask. At last she nodded. “Alright. I’ll see what I can do.”
“It will have to be fast. I suspect McCall will want to get the paperwork completed as soon as possible. We need to move before he gets the rights.”
“I’ll start as soon you’re out of the office.”
“Good. Then I’ll leave you to it,” said McCall, glad for an excuse to get out of there.